The 2022 Holiday Band and Choir Concert


Kimberly Vasta, Staff Writer

On December 15th at 6pm, Freehold Township held their annual holiday concert! It was definitely a success to say the least, as the auditorium was practically full by the time the concert began. 

Upon first entering, the only admission required was any non-perishable/canned food item. There were raffles (for the adults), snack stands full with chips, water and even Chick-Fil-A sandwiches.

The concert began exceptionally prompt, and opened with a combined band and choir song, which was a mashup of the top 5 most popular holiday classics. It was truly incredible how the two groups came together. Although the band did overpower the singers at times, it was still very well put together and definitely got the crowd invested from the start. 

Once finished, the whole choir walked off, and those who returned to the risers were members of the select ensemble. Now, the select ensemble, which is a smaller bunch of talented singers who needed to try out in order to be in this group, sang 3 songs. Everything was, again, very well put together and clearly a lot of practice and dedication was put into the creation of these pieces. However, there were a few music issues in transitioning between the three songs part of the Christmas Jazz collection, but all select ensemble members were very  professional about it and took the complications with great class. 

Once the select ensemble was finished, the band followed, likewise, with 3 songs. During the Ukrainian Bell Carol, the ladies of the color guard were also featured. Per usual, the crowd was so infatuated with the talent and skill that went into such a performance by both the band and colorguard collectively. Additionally, conductor Mr. Gattsek gave special recognition to some of his star band students who made Regions. Aaron Stern and Riley Talerico-Dovel for CJMEA Region II Symphonic Band, and Justin Morgan for CJMEA Region II Wind Ensemble. Congratulations!

After the band, there was a brief intermission where audience members could get snacks and quickly meet up with whoever they were there supporting that night in the concert, as the performers ran back and forth for outfit changes or getting certain instruments/items for the second part. 

Once the intermission ended, the whole concert choir came back to perform 5 songs. Some of these songs were accompanied by band members. For example, “Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah” had a clarinet feature from Olivia Raguseo and “Come to the Music” features Talia Naum on piccolo and Kenny Yoon on the hand drum. The song, “Joyful, Joyful, We adore Thee” features band members Justin Morgan on alto sax, Aaron Stern on tenor sax, Brian Yaniro on trumpet, Maddie Raguseo on trombone and Kenny Yoon on percussion. Piper Doherty also had her own solo during this song, in which she did incredible!

The symphonic band came back after the concert choir for one last song, and finally the whole concert ended with a final combined band and choir song entitled, “When You Believe” in which friends and alumni were invited to come up and sing along. Though few actually went up, it was definitely still a great experience. 

Overall, the concert was incredible and it was very clear how much effort both the band and choir put into making this concert the best they could. Everyone did amazing, which proved how talented our patriot family truly is. Also a special thank you to Mrs. Conners and Mr. Gattsek for helping put this concert together. Great job everyone!